Unformatted text preview: Both the "pathetic" individual and the "tragic" civilization loom large in this novel. In Kansas City, Denver, and San Francisco, we see the Griffithses in a society whose organic community has declined. Clyde's class snobbery is an outgrowth of individualism and urbanization. And we see in Clyde the decline of belief, the growth of the secular ethic, and the fragmentation of his personality. Although its classic one hundred chapters are divided into three disproportionate books of nineteen, forty-seven, and thirty-four chapters, the ponderous whole is tensely unified. Dreiser's fictional cosmos of indifference toward puny, struggling man reveals the contrast between the weak, the poor, and the ugly and between the relatively strong, rich, and beautiful. Again, he contrasts the photographic world-as-it-is with the visionary world-as-it-might-be. Because of Dreiser's bold photographic world-as-it-is with the visionary world-as-it-might-be....
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This note was uploaded on 11/27/2011 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.
- Fall '08